A few days ago a small post appeared on the blog of BookingBug, the Shoreditch start up which raised an angel round back in April. That appears to have heralded a site relaunch today, and the new version contains some functionality tweaks which, as the post implies, points BookingBug towards a future as a full booking and management system for daily deals. For whatever you say about Groupon’s business model, the daily deals business across many other clones continues to power ahead.
The site has had a UI refresh, but also issued an Android app and overhauled the slightly confusing scheduling interface. But most significantly BookingBug is now “powering” redemptions for a handful of daily deal sites, if the footers on some of the emails we’ve seen are to be believed.
Given that many service merchants have old fashioned and usually offline methods for managing bookings and availability, mashing up daily deal sites and a booking engine makes a lot of sense. In fact it’s a wonder that Groupon’s continuing lameness in this department still remains. Perhaps a booking engine would make a good acquisition for the daily deals giant?
BookingBug are remaining tight lipped on this. But founder and CEO Glenn Shoosmith did confirm the site also lets customers run their own deals independently. Create your own daily deals for less than the price Groupon would charge you? Seems like a good idea to me.
BookingBug has so far raised $350,000 from a small group of Angels. Among them, Philip Crawford (ex-Oracle, current chairman of Lombard Risk plc and Avanti Capital) is on the board. It also partners with Levi’s to allow customers to book personal shopping time in 250 stores across 22 countries in 6 languages.
Here’s what’s changed so far: